Teenager James who was hit by a bus battles back to health to tackle Great North Run

James Fleming completed the GNR despite suffering life changing injuries at 11 years old.
James Fleming completed the GNR despite suffering life changing injuries at 11 years old.

A teenager who suffered life-changing injuries when he was run over by a bus has defied the odds by tackling the Great North Run in the name of charity.

James Fleming, 18, from South Shields, was hit at full speed by a bus when he was crossing the road at the age of 11.

He suffered major injuries and was in Newcastle’s General Hospital – which is now the Campus and Ageing and Vitality – where doctors weren’t sure if he’d ever be able to walk again.

But thanks to intensive treatment and physiotherapy from a dedicated team at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, he fought his way back to health.

James took on this year’s Great North Run for the Sick Children’s Trust, the charity that allowed his parents, Tracy and Ken, to stay by his bedside.

He completed the 13.1-mile course in 1hr 48mins, raising £1,200.

Mum Tracy said: “I am so proud of James and how far he’s come since the accident.

“To look at him you’d never think anything had happened and how close we came to losing him. Watching him stride over the finish line and see the smile on his face – knowing he has raised so much for The Sick Children’s Trust – filled us with joy.

“When James was recovering from his accident, it was so important for us to be there, which was made possible by The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Home from Home’ Crawford House.

“South Shields does not seem like a million miles away from Newcastle, but when you’re told your son may not wake up from his coma, being anywhere but by his side is too far.

“Fortunately, The Sick Children’s Trust came into our lives and helped us see the light during this traumatic time.

“The charity gave us a place to go, and Crawford House felt like home but was just a few minutes’ walk from James. Crawford House meant that we could get some rest, and when the nurses weren’t with James he wasn’t alone because we could be there.”